Continuing our look at recent industry research Aberdeen Group just issued “Beyond Satisfaction: Engaging Employees to Retain Customers.” A few interesting tidbits from the report:

Following up on my comments in Monday’s post that there is no single definition for engagement, Aberdeen offers this one:

“Engagement is all about aligning individuals with the mission and priorities of the organisation in order to deliver business results. Engagement only really matters if it is driving business results. In fact, this is what differentiates employee engagement from employee satisfaction (that personal needs are being met).”

I would argue true engagement goes a step further such that employees give additional discretionary effort. This additional effort, in alignment with the strategic objectives of the organisation, is what delivers those needed business results.

Aberdeen goes on to identify three attributes of an engaged workplace – meaningful work, aligned goals/values, and strong leadership. These three are best summarised in the report with this statement:

“Organisations seeing the most impressive business impact from engagement strategies are those that are focusing time and attention on helping leaders and managers continually communicate the mission and priorities of the organisation, setting individual goals around those priorities, and providing frequent feedback and check-ins on progress toward those goals.”

Per the report, achieving engagement requires executive sponsorship (“Best-in-Class organisations are far more likely to have a senior business leader, the CEO or President of the company, championing engagement efforts.”), measurement (“Employee engagement efforts must be managed and measured in terms of business impact. Best-in-Class organisations are 29% more likely than Industry Average organisations to have a standard process to measure engagement.), and a system to recognise the right behaviours (“When individuals are recognised for exhibiting the right behaviours and achieving business goals is reward visibly, it has a positive impact on that individual and serves as an example for others in the organisation.’)

Would your organisation be considered “Best in Class” according to Aberdeen’s criteria of meaningful work, alignment of goals and values and strong leadership? Do you have executive sponsorship of engagement efforts, a consistent measurement structure, and a tool to recognise the right behaviours? Where do you need help or improvement?

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